Domino Effect: RBs coming off the board
The running back dominoes fell hard this week. Rivals250 running back Justin Williams started it off with a Monday commitment to West Virginia and fellow Rivals250 back Nick Singleton followed suit on Tuesday by announcing his commitment to Penn State. Four-star Ramon Brown capped off the week by pledging to stay in-state and play for Virginia Tech.
The ripple effects of these commitments will help shape how the rest of the country recruits running backs for the remainder of this cycle. Eleven four-star running backs have announced their commitments in the last 22 days and in the days spanning July 17 and July 25 there should be at least four huge running back commitments, including No. 1 back in the Rivals250 Branson Robinson.
To put that in perspective, there are 35 running backs currently rated at least four-stars and, barring any decommitments, just 11 of them will be uncommitted heading into August. Here's a look at what dominoes could be falling next at the running back position.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
Decision date: July 22
The only five-star running back in the 2022 class, Robinson hasn't been too hard to read. Georgia is the favorite to land the big time back out of Mississippi and the Dawgs are really counting on him to jump onboard this month. Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia got Robinson in for official visits in June but it seems unlikely that the Crimson Tide or Volunteers will be able to overtake Kirby Smart and his squad.
Decision date: July 17
After Singleton committed to Penn State on Tuesday, it seemed like the Nittany Lions would look to Brown, Allen or Rivals250 running back George Pettaway to fill the other running back slot in their 2022 recruiting class. Allen is very high on Penn State heading into his commitment but it's important to note his other official visits to Florida, Georgia and Michigan State. The Georgia visit is of particular interest. The Dawgs were a favorite of Allen's when he was younger and, if Georgia were to try to take another back after likely adding Robinson later this month, Allen would be high on their wish list.
Decision date: July 22
Hampton isn't one to do many interviews about the inner-workings of his recruitment but he isn't too hard to read. The North Carolina native seems to be leaning heavily towards the Tar Heels. Hampton has visited the nearby campus a number of times and took an official visit there. Auburn, Florida and Penn State hosted Hampton for official visits too but North Carolina seems to have too much going for them right now.
Decision date: July 25
LSU, Northwestern and Penn State got official visits from Alston in June but he took a handful of unofficial visits as well. Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina are just some of the other programs that got Alston on campus in June. It looks like he will want to stay in the south for college and the dominoes could be falling in Auburn's favor here. Alston really enjoyed his visit and he's built some great relationships with those coaches.
Decision date: Unknown
There are 10 other four-star running backs in the 2022 class that haven't made their future plans clear yet but it feels like Pettaway could be the final running back domino that could drop this month. He hasn't ruled out a preseason commitment and an official visit to Oregon in the fall is likely. North Carolina has picked up considerable momentum in Pettaway's recruitment and possibly teaming up with Hampton in Chapel Hill is a very real possibility but Pettaway isn't going to pick North Carolina because of what Hampton does. He is genuinely unsure right now and programs like Oregon, Michigan, Florida, Auburn and some others are involved.